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Polly’s Casks, Ainsley Brae Showcase Whisky Diversity

Polly's CasksAlexander Murray & Co is an independent Scotch whisky bottler best known to American drinkers as the source of private label whisky brands at well known stores such as Kirkland (Costco) and Trader Joe’s. They also put out a range of inexpensive whiskies bottled from different distilleries under their own brand. Now, however, they look to be expanding into more offerings:  the Ainsley Brae line as well as a beer barrel aged single malt named Polly’s Casks.

First, Polly’s Casks. This is a fascinating collaboration the bottler has developed with the well-known California brewery Firestone Walker Brewing. Sixty oak bourbon barrels formerly used to age some of the brewery’s special beers (Double Double Barrel Ale) were sent across the Atlantic to Scotland’s Tullibardine distillery, which is said to be part of the family of companies this bottler is tied to.

The barrels, filled with undisclosed age statement Tullibardine whisky, were left to age for an additional year before being  bottled as a limited edition, double barreled single malt. It clocks in at 80 proof and is pricing around $100 a bottle should you want to track one down. You can learn a little more about it via the video below.

The other new offering from Alexander Murray, meanwhile, is something called Ainsley Brae. This line of whiskies is drawn from a range of distilleries, some named and others not, and includes both age statement bottlings and non age-statement expressions.

Ainsley BraeHere are the releases thus far for this collection:

  • Limited Edition 1964
  • Burgundy cask finished
  • Sherry cask finished
  • Royal Brackla 12 year
  • Glendullan 12 year
  • Oak cask finished
  • Sauternes cask finished
  • Highland 1999

All of these whiskies are said to be pulled from the Highland region of Scotland. Exclusively for sale at national liquor store chain Total Wine & More, prices seem to be ranging between $28 and $550, if you are trying to hunt down a bottle. The most high-end of these is the Limited Edition 1964, a 49 year old Scotch pulled from the stock of an unknown distillery. Only 1,000 bottles of it have been produced.

Should you be more curious about Ainsley Brae, the video below talks a little more about them.

The Art of the Cask from Ainsley Brae on Vimeo.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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